TT043 – Local Solutions: A Key to Growing the Water Workforce (Part 2)

This week, we continue our conversation with Mike Sullivan and Shannon Drosnock, utility directors from suburban Philadelphia. Mike and Shannon lead a successful internship program for Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Region 1. In this episode, they talk with Steve and Jennifer about the logistics of their program, how they appeal to potential participants, and how the model could be duplicated for other utilities across the country.

Topics Discussed

  • Mike and Shannon’s Water and Wastewater Internship Program
    • How they set it up
    • What can participating interns expect
    • How could other utilities or even non-profits set up a similar program?
    • Future of the program
  • Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association Future Leaders Scholarship
  • How can smaller utilities set up similar programs?
  • Northampton Bucks County Municipal Authority
  • Montgomery Township Municipal Sewer Authority

I think [the internship program] could be successful on the
smaller scale — particularly if you have municipalities that are grouped in that type of situation — where they understand the limits that they have
and can structure their program around it.

Mike Sullivan

Go Further

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About the Guests

Michael Sullivan has nearly 40 years of experience in the water and wastewater industry. He has provided management and consulting services to municipalities and authorities on topics such as water and wastewater treatment, management, and utility operations. Michael graduated from the Southern Illinois University Environmental Resources Training Center in 1983. He went on to become a Pennsylvania State licensed water and wastewater operator and has held various positions in the industry. Since 1997, Michael has served as the Executive Director for several municipal authorities. He is currently the executive director for the Northampton Bucks County Municipal Authority and serves on the Board of Directors for the Chalfont/New Britain Joint Sewer Authority.

From 2002 to 2022, Michael owned and served as the president of Private Utility Enterprises, Inc., a company dedicated to consulting, contract operations, and management of approximately 80 water/wastewater treatment facilities in Southeastern and South Central Pennsylvania. Under his guidance, the company became a trusted industry leader. Michael also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association, representing Pennsylvania Region 1, which encompasses Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, and Delaware counties.

Shannon Drosnock is the executive director of MTMSA – The Montgomery Township Municipal Sewer Authority.  Shannon began her career in custodial banking, first at the Vanguard Group and then serving as the Controller for the Dublin, Ireland, division of State Street Bank.  After deciding to move back to the US to start a family, she changed careers and began working in local government.  She has worked for Montgomery Township for over a decade; first as the Township Finance Director, and then moving to the Sewer Authority in her current position.  Shannon also currently serves as the Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association Region 1 Assistant Director. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and a MS in Business Intelligence & Data Analytics from St. Joseph’s University.